View Full Version : Pastel Strokes-July

K Taylor-Green
07-01-2006, 10:49 AM
Welcome to the JULY edition of PASTEL STROKES! Those who participated last month already know the guidelines. For all newbies, they are as follows.

A new photo project will be posted at the first of each month. The photo is chosen by the guide or moderator hosting each individual month. If you are interested, create a painting from the photo and upload it to this thread for discussion.
You can paint as many versions as you like and they can be any size. Both oilies and softies are invited.

Course, you knew I'd choose an animal. This is my 7 yr. old Palomino Quarter horse mare, Phaedra. Getting good shots of horses is always a challenge, so I count myself lucky when I get a good portrait shot. I hope you all enjoy painting her and I am looking forward to lots of Phaedra paintings!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jul-2006/41107-Phaedra.jpg

07-01-2006, 11:40 AM
Ok, this will definitely be a new one for me, but I'm in, just don't be surprised if Phaedra comes out looking like a goat!:evil:

K Taylor-Green
07-01-2006, 01:30 PM
LOL, my first horse drawing looked pretty bad, too! But I have faith in you, Tressa.

Piper Ballou
07-01-2006, 01:47 PM
Yipeeeee, I am going to have fun with this one.

07-01-2006, 02:32 PM
I mostly post in the animal/wildlife forum, but I've recently gotten started with pastels, and I love em! Can just anybody participate?
...great ref pic!

07-01-2006, 04:19 PM
Kate...Phaedra is beautiful! I've not done many (any!) animal pastels, so this will be a great place to start. Can you post any tips on painting her coat and mane? Thanks for a great photo to work from. I'm excited about this!

07-01-2006, 04:31 PM
OHOHOH.....I LOVE PALAMINOS!!!...they are my fav.

I've never painted a horse.....But I'm gonna have too attempt Phaedra, how can I resist such a beautiful animal. Count me in!!!

Harm Verbeek
07-01-2006, 05:02 PM

I'm just back of my vacation. I will do a try to catch Phaedra in a painting.

greetings Harm

KA Obee
07-01-2006, 05:16 PM
come on in and join the fun! Anyone can post - as long as the work is in pastels.
Kate, Phaedra is just beautiful! I can hardly wait to try this. I'm with Annie on this - can you post any tips on painting horses. anything would be helpful as I haven't painted portraits of horses since I was a girl.

K Taylor-Green
07-01-2006, 05:21 PM
Rosie, yes! Anyone is welcome to join in, though it has to be in pastels, either oil pastels or soft ones. I hope you give it a try.

Annie, a horses coat is smooth, at least in the summer. Work it as though you are doing any smooth object. The mane is close to human hair, only much courser, clumpier.

Piper, ooooh, can't wait to see yours.

Hey Harm, good to see you!

I'm so glad so many are going to give this a try!

K Taylor-Green
07-01-2006, 05:23 PM
KA Obee, we crossed! I'm glad you are joining in.

07-01-2006, 07:38 PM

What great timing!! I was just going to look in the RIL for a horse for practise. This year I'm participating in the Calgary Stampede artist's window and you have to paint something western :eek: A horse is about as western as I'll ever get :lol:

K Taylor-Green
07-01-2006, 10:20 PM
And she's a Quarter Horse, Kathy! Very western. Glad you are joining in.

I wanted to mention, the white down the front of her face in not a blaze. She has no white markings on her face at all. That is light, a very bright highlight.

07-02-2006, 12:10 AM
Could not pass up a chance to paint a beautiful lady. This is the first time for painting a horse in pastels. Normally use oil, but have been working on black suede cloth, so thought it would be a natural for this painting. Approx 15 x 20 using a variety of soft pastels. She still needs some tweaking, but thought I would go ahead and post for now.


KA Obee
07-02-2006, 12:24 AM
Wow John, You're fast!
Beautiful painting. I love the way you handled her mane. Don't you just love that blond hair! She looks like a California girl!

07-02-2006, 07:53 AM
Several years ago, I painted a number of horse portraits. My dad and my younger brother are or were both horse people. At that time I was using only oil paints and that created some real challenges. This month's challenge just really called out to me. The light play across face and mane makes it easy to say "I have to try that one".

Thanks Kate for posting this challenge.


K Taylor-Green
07-02-2006, 10:44 AM
Wow! John, very impressive. You have done a beautiful job with her.

I love that California girl comment, KA.

07-02-2006, 03:21 PM
I should have worked off of my computer monitor rather than printing it. The printed copy that I worked from was alot darker. I've made a few touch ups since I took this photo.

Kate's Khallenge
12 x 9 soft pastel on velour


07-02-2006, 04:32 PM
Great job John, and Kathy!!:clap:

I have my drawing done, but have yet been able to start to paint! Holiday and houseguests!! :rolleyes:

K Taylor-Green
07-02-2006, 06:58 PM
Kathy, my hubby is EXTREMELY happy with this. You caught her smile. I know.....I know, horses don't smile........or do they? She sure is in this photo and it looks great!

07-02-2006, 07:10 PM
I like it! Great job.:clap: :clap:

07-04-2006, 12:18 PM
Hiya Kate! I have a horse! It doesn't look a whole lot like your horse, but it's a horse. :D


I'm not getting very good scans, but I'm starting to figure out these graphics apps. The image is 12 x 9 on Wallis.

John, you've got some great reaslism around the muzzle, eyes, ears & mane and am looking forward to an update.

Kathy, your portrait is wonderful!

K Taylor-Green
07-04-2006, 01:03 PM
Scanners can sure be a pain, can't they? I usually play a little bit in a photo program when they are too dark.
Good rendition, Lisa. I am going to have sooo many good paintings of Phaedra!

Piper Ballou
07-04-2006, 01:28 PM
Everyone's painting of Phaedra are great. What a fun project. I am hoping the hard core landscapers give her a try....afterall, I did a landscape last month.
This is the second horse I have attempted. I wanted to try her on velour and really did not have many options for paper, I am thinking I may try to add some type of background, any suggestions would be appreicated.
I may attempt this one again on Wallis.
Velour, the full sheet I have is 12 by 12 but I have cropped it down to about 10 by 12, if I add a background I will leave it 12 by 12

fun project, Kate, thanks


K Taylor-Green
07-04-2006, 02:40 PM
I LOVE it, Piper!! Such wonderful color choices. I don't think I would add a background to it, though. She looks great as is.
You should paint more horses.

07-04-2006, 07:20 PM
Kathy, my hubby is EXTREMELY happy with this. You caught her smile. I know.....I know, horses don't smile........or do they? She sure is in this photo and it looks great!

Hey, if dogs can smile, then so can horses :lol: I'm glad your husband liked it!

07-04-2006, 07:59 PM
Going to call this one finished. Made quite a few small changes, but not feel like I am overworking it.



07-05-2006, 01:34 AM
wow ... these will be a tough act to follow ... they're all great !!! .... i never could draw horses ... in grade 6 a classmate could, and do them *really* well, so i left horses to her !!! ... :lol: ... i guess now's about time i tried one again ... it might be a while :rolleyes: before i post mine but at least by saying i'll try to join in on this project perhaps i *will* ... 8v) ... again, :thumbsup: to the ones so far!!

Pat Isaac
07-05-2006, 02:28 PM
Wow, look at all these wonderful horse portraits. I have never painted a horse, but hope to get in on this one, even though the 30th went by last month without a piece from me.


K Taylor-Green
07-05-2006, 02:38 PM
John, it finished out just beautiful. This is one you can be proud of.

07-05-2006, 05:26 PM
Everyone is doing so great! :wave: With such a beauty as Phaedra to model for us, how could we not?

John...I like the brightened up version (the color is really nice - I may try to copy your palette) and the loose feeling your painting has. Kathy...you did such a great job with the mane and the realistic modeling of the face. Lisa...I love your more abstract version and your use of color is just wonderful. Piper...great job; you captured Phaedra's intelligent look really well.

I'm working on my drawing; I hope I don't have to scrub this down as much as I did with June's landscape! I love how we all have our own interpretations of Phaedra. :heart:

07-05-2006, 11:35 PM
here's my phaedra ... following kathy's model, facing left ... did i cheat if i traced the outline? ... :confused: ... (still not feeling confident enuff to draw it myself) ...


maybe with fresh eyes i should work on it a bit more another day and try and do something about the mane ... the hair looks transparent as the paper wouldn't take any more pastel ... i suppose i could spray it with a workable fixative? ... wouldn't that allow me to go over those strands that appear transparent? ... anything else i should address? ...

07-06-2006, 08:49 AM
John, Kathy, Lisa, Piper, and Violet - Your versions of Phaedra are just great! Thanks for this great pic Kate - I have been dying to paint a horse and now I have the perfect excuse/opportunity! Hopefully this weekend I will get a chance to join in.

Piper Ballou
07-06-2006, 09:36 AM
Violet, your Phaedra is great...love the fullness you have on her face and your light reflections are right on.
nice job

07-06-2006, 09:42 AM
Piper, I don't think your portrait needs a background. She's quite lovely as is.

John. if you've got a bridle and can give me a leg-up, I'm ready to go for a ride! Nice job!

Violet, You did an amazing job. I like the transparency of some of the mane- makes it very real looking. I don't think it needs more pastel on it. :)

Annie, thank you. I feel like I posted a cartoon next to the real looking versions. :o

Pat, I know what you mean by running out of days. Where does the time go?

Barbara, I love seeing all the different versions too. Fun, isn't it?

K Taylor-Green
07-06-2006, 05:16 PM
Violet, I don't consider it cheating! After all, you still have to paint it into life. And you have done a fine job. The colors look great.

Barbara, looking forward to your version.

Hopefully, I'll get to my own version, soon. But I'm recovering from being thrown from my OWN horse!! I guess he wanted the 4th off.

07-06-2006, 09:08 PM
wow, she is a pretty! ... I just finished a commission of two Arabians... not easy beasts to do.. I hope I can find some time to try this one ....

07-07-2006, 09:43 AM
:lol: Hi Kate, everybody, I just joined wet canvas not too long ago. I love this picture and challenge. All of the pieces done so far are beautiful and interesting. I haven't been doing much work lately, but hope to do more as leave a fulltime job. I live on a small farm with horses, dogs,cats, chickens -- plenty of subject matter::lol: I hope you are o.k. Kate -- I don't ride much anymore either -- the ground gets harder as you get older. Bet it has been awhile since that happened?

I used to work with softies/dry pastels, for health reasons have thought of going to oilies -- been lurking at that forum. I don't have a digital camera -- but may try an oily and get it developed for posting.

Do others use film cameras, how does it work out?

Are past challenges archived anywhere for viewing?

Happy pasteling!

07-07-2006, 09:59 AM
Hi Angela! Glad you came out of lurkdom.:) I use a scanner for my pictures here but that does limit me size-wise. I have also taken pics with the old camera and had them developed to scan and post here. I never got along with the new digital so I leave in my hubby's capable hands. Looking forward to seeing your work! BTW, I use a mask when the dust gets to me and it really helps.

Pat Isaac
07-07-2006, 11:33 AM
Hi Angela and welcome.:wave: This is a great place to be and you'll definitely learn a lot. I use a digi camera, but I scanned photos before I had my digi camera and that works fine.
You can check out the Pastel Library for past challenges, but I didn't see the June Pastel strokes there. However, there are lots of others.
Hope to see you in the OP forum.


07-07-2006, 12:12 PM
John, She's a beauty...can I ask what is black suede cloth?

07-07-2006, 02:47 PM
thank you so much barbara, piper, fortysomething, and kate !!!! ... :):) ... your compliments mean a whole lot to me ... and maybe i will leave it as is and say it's done ! ... and thank you too, especially, kate for saying it's not cheating to trace and giving me that line *colouring to life* !! ... that's exactly what i am wanting to do at this stage ... to learn and master just that yet i've received negative comments about tracing even tho the masters themselves used that and similar techniques !! ... your comment and your being a moderator, has made me feel much better ... i know i can draw if i put my mind to it but simply want to get right to the painting !! ... and love the projects ... they're motivating which i also need ... :):)

KA Obee
07-07-2006, 03:18 PM
Hi Violet,
Portraits of children are my favorite thing to paint, and if I'm working from a photo, I'm using tracing paper! Particularly with portraits of children, there's no 'almost' in a likeness. If the drawing is off your never going to get it right. I think the painting is the most challenging part, and like you I just love 'getting right into it'.
The other advantage of using tracings is that you can do a few litttle value studies, using small tracings, before you get into your final painting. It's a wonderful tool as far as I'm concerned.
This is a portrait - so there's no 'almost' in this likeness either. And you are working from a photo, which is already two dimensional - so I say 'trace away!'
On the other hand, I do try to draw from life as often as possible! There's no substitute for that!

07-07-2006, 04:52 PM
you're absolutely right, ka ... i'd only consider tracing when an exact likeness is the objective, as in portraiture ... i'd never approach a landscape with tracing ... maybe a grid if there's elements that need to be relative to each other and/or enlarging is required ... and yes ... this was a portrait ... one of a horse! ... and i think a car would require an exacting approach too ... a portrait of a car ... hmmm ... :lol: ... but that's what it would be! ... so i'll never feel bad about tracing again ... never !! ... :):):) ... thank you so much for your reply and viewpoint ... i feel much better ... :):):)

07-07-2006, 06:15 PM
Pequan, I purchase suede cloth from the local fabric store. It has a texture similar to sueded leather and really holds the pastel well. I cut the fabric to slightly larger than the size of picture I want, cut a piece of foamcore to that size and then use a spray adhesive to mount the fabric on the foamcore, roll the edges and using a thin line of PVA glue, finish the back edges of the board. The only caution is to apply the fabric so that the grain follows the direction you plan on applying the pastels. Going against the grain of the fabric creates some color fluctuations that are not the most desirable. I don't know what the archivability of this method is, but the colors just jump when applied to a black background. The only other problem is insuring that one has sufficient darks to create dark shadows and etc. Most of the darks appear much lighter on this black background.

BTW, this fabric normally retails for somewhere between $7.75 and $9.95 a yard and is normally 54 in. wide. Fairly reasonable for making larger boards.


07-07-2006, 07:49 PM
Well, here's mine (please don't laugh):

I really struggled with this...had all sorts of problems. There are some things I like about it - the initial drawing was good, and it does have a loose feel to it, which is what I'm striving for. But it got really overworked and, well...you can see for yourselves. LOL

07-07-2006, 08:36 PM
Annie, I like it, and again, just chalk it up to a learning experience, and don't stress over the overworking. It looks good on my monitor, and remember, you are your own worst critic. I truly believe you will enjoy the sanded paper once you try it, but take the lessons you learned here, and benifit from them:thumbsup:

07-07-2006, 11:33 PM
Tressa...thanks very much for the encouragement - it means a lot. :)

K Taylor-Green
07-08-2006, 08:29 AM
Annie, It sure looks good on my monitor! Any struggles you may have had are not showing up. I love the colorations you have used here. Very well done!

07-08-2006, 09:53 AM
Well done to everyone who has posted so far. They are all excellent and so diverse.
:clap: :clap:

07-08-2006, 09:57 AM
Well, here's my version of my first ever horse. fabercastell pencils on colourfix paper 9X12.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jul-2006/82968-phaedra.jpg

07-08-2006, 10:05 AM
WOW! Paul, really nice!! I am about to post my FIRST horse also, lol.. not sure I want to follow all these acts:o

07-08-2006, 11:09 AM
did i cheat if i traced the outline? ... :confused: ... (still not feeling confident enuff to draw it myself) ...

Violet...If DaVinci used all those mechanical techniques to get the drawing right, I don't see why you shouldn't! I heard someone muse about what DaVinci would do today if he were alive to see all our technology, such as computers and scanners and digital cameras. I think he'd make full use of all of them! :lol:

... the hair looks transparent as the paper wouldn't take any more pastel ... i suppose i could spray it with a workable fixative? ... wouldn't that allow me to go over those strands that appear transparent? ... anything else i should address? ...

I think the mane looks great, and so does Phaedra's coat. You did some interesting subtle texturing on her cheek and the modeling of the contours is quite good, on her face particularly. Is that cross-hatching or some other technique? At any rate, it looks good! Good job, Violet! :thumbsup:

07-08-2006, 11:25 AM
Here is my version. Rembrant's on Canson Mi-Tientes, 9x12, grey toned.

This is several firsts for me. First animal, first horse.

Everyone's is very good. Sorry I haven't responded individually. I haven't had much time. I'm in no position to critique anyway since this is all a big experiment for myself.


07-08-2006, 11:38 AM
Ok, here goes, my version of the BEAUTIFUL PHAEDRA.......
here is a crop....

07-08-2006, 12:45 PM
Oh my goodness, what beautiful work!
This was way out of my comfort zone! And the support didn't help- manths ago I prepared s bunch of boards with gesso and pumice, thought I was smart and smeared it on with a knife, only to discover that the knife smoothed out all the tooth! So to get a second layer I had to use turps on the first layer.
If I had a printer I would have traced it for sure. But I don't so did it looking at the monitor.
Ok, enough whiny excuses, here it is, oil pastel on 6x8 matboard.

07-08-2006, 12:46 PM
Great job, lwood...drawing is really good, and the colors are very cool..

07-08-2006, 12:49 PM
Wendy! I love it!! The texture is great, and your colors...:)
Did you find it difficult to move over those knife strokes? I had a time getting the softies to go into the rough texture on the ground I made for a landscape.

07-08-2006, 01:35 PM
Welcome to WC and the Pastel Forum, lwood! This is very nice...especially for a first horse!:thumbsup: How did you get the pastel to go on the Canson, is what I want to know! I'm pretty new too...and experimenting is fun, isn't it?

07-08-2006, 01:41 PM
Tressa, it's beautiful! The color is stunning!
And it has such a wonderful loose quality! Great job!:clap:

Just curious: what paper and type of pastels did you use?

07-08-2006, 01:51 PM
thank you very much, annie ... i do feel much less concerned about tracing now and am looking forward to using my new projector !! ... an artograph tracer ... and as for my technique on the face, i just put little strokes of hair knowing that the horse's face had 'em and wasn't smooth.... was drawing what i *know* rather than being inventive or creative as so many have here so wonderfully ... paul, wendy, tres ... your versions are fabulous ...

07-08-2006, 02:16 PM
Tressa, it's beautiful! The color is stunning!
And it has such a wonderful loose quality! Great job!:clap:

Just curious: what paper and type of pastels did you use?

Thanks Annie. This is on La Carte paper using Great Americans..

07-08-2006, 02:43 PM
After all these beautiful and original versions of Phaedra*congrats to all the artists! :clap: * here's mine... I have used softies on pastel card (24x32cm) to paint it. I'm quite pleased with the head but I find there is something off with the shoulder and it's unfortunately too late to fix it... Oh well, it's no big deal after all... we are here to practice, aren't we? ;)

07-08-2006, 04:14 PM
Thanks for the nice words AnnieA and Tressa. The Canson works fine as long as you are careful not to fill the tooth too quickly. It fits my budget better anyway.

Pat Isaac
07-08-2006, 04:23 PM
Tressa, Paul, lwood, and Wendy......great horses.....Like the texture Wendy and everyone has such wonderful color.


07-09-2006, 09:46 AM
Falstad, very nicely done! Very fine colors, textures, and blending.

K Taylor-Green
07-09-2006, 11:20 AM
To all you people who quibble at trying an animal, especially a horse, just take a look at all the wonderful first timers in this challenge. I am truely impressed with the quality of work being produced here.

Paul, Eyegrabbing contrast here, and you have rendered her eye so beautifully!!

IWood, welcome to the group!! This is very well done, especially as a first on so many fronts.

Tres and Wendy, While both your pieces are done so differently, the color choices are what make both stand out. Great!

Falstad, welcome!! Great job on this! Sooo many different color choices to render a palomino. I just can't pick which I like the best! Glad I don't have to!

07-10-2006, 06:59 AM
Thanks for all your comments. I was a bit weary about painting a horse to start with but once I got going I quite enjoyed it.
Iwood, Tressa, Wendy and Greg well done, some beautiful horses painted here. :clap:

07-10-2006, 12:04 PM
Thanks for the welcome Kate. I did participate in last month's challenge as well. The variety of subjects has really been helpful for me.

07-10-2006, 02:46 PM
Thank you for the nice comments, Lwood, Kate and Paul! (you can call me Greg ;) )

Kate - you are SO true! It's amazing to see how different and beautiful each interpretation of this photo can be. A well-deserved bravo to everybody! :clap:

07-10-2006, 03:51 PM
Hi Greg!! I think you did a great job!!! IF the neck area is bothering you, it seems to me that you could soften it a bit, and this would alleviate the harder feel to the shoulder area.. :)

THANKS KATE!! It was a fun piece to do!!!

07-11-2006, 06:48 AM
Thank you for the welcome Barbara and Pat.

First wet canvas upload, first completed piece in about twelve years, first oil pastel. Thank you so much for the inspiring challenge, Kate. It got me moving! Oil pastel on dark grey 9" by 12" art spectrum colorfix. C&C welcome.


Pat Isaac
07-11-2006, 07:39 AM
Great OP, Angela. You'd never know you hadn't been painting every day. I reall like the sideways glance of the horse.


07-11-2006, 10:22 AM
Greg and Angela - You both did a great job!:clap: :clap: :clap:
Angela, You get extra credit for doing the background!:D I hope you really enjoyed it - that's a lot of "firsts"!
I am still on my sketch - maybe tonight I can make some progress.

07-12-2006, 06:28 AM
Thank you so much Pat, Barbara for your nice comments. I love all the paintings that have been put on here. I did not look at my scan very long yesterday morning because I was concerned about how much time it would take me to upload it. After it was posted I saw some things I plan to change. Funny how it gives some new perspective.

Looking forward to seeing more work in this thread -- come'on Barbara, Pat:)

K Taylor-Green
07-12-2006, 09:44 AM
Well done, Angela! Another great version of my horse!
Do you work in softies, too?

07-12-2006, 01:50 PM
Very nice AngelaF! The yellow-green-blue color pattern works very well.

07-12-2006, 01:54 PM
Everyone has had a lot of fun with this project, I think, and a bunch of great looking portraits of Phaedra!!! :) GREAT JOB EVERYONE WHO HAS PAINTED SO FAR!!!

07-12-2006, 06:07 PM
Hi, Kate, thank you for your comment. I did work in dry/soft pastels about twelve years ago, but I want to stay away from the dust. So when planning on starting up on art again, I have been reading about oil pastels and about colored pencisl primarily. I really, really enjoyed this project. It really helped me get going, I have shared my painting with people who have never seen any of my work because it has been so long.

As you probably saw on my earlier post, I have horses also -- actually getting into horses and farm life , as well as a demanding job, actually led me away from art for awhile. Time flew by too fast though. What level do you teach art? I hope you have recovered from your contact with the ground. Did your horse actually buck to get you off, versus being spooked? I got away from riding the last 2 years too, just mucking stalls, visiting horse shows, grooming and caring for them. I sometimes think I will ride more when I retire (my commute time also has increased) -- but after your post, I don't know--time will tell I guess.

Thank you Ivywood. I glad these colors seem to work well. I did the picture as a whole -- so the background developed as the horse portrait developed.

07-12-2006, 08:41 PM
I love these projects with all the different paintings from the same photo! :clap: My version of Phaedra kept morphing into our horse Dreamer with his long thoroughbred nose - in case you were wondering about all of the green. I kept having to go back and readjust her head. Of course the scanner also chopped off her ears, chest and almost got her nose! Thought I'd better quit, before that beautiful Palamino color became sorrel and she grew a white star on her forehead! :p


Oil Pastels on Canson mi Tientes - about 10x13, before the scanner goes in and chops everything up.... :mad:

07-12-2006, 09:59 PM
Angela, your horse is lovely! And welcome back to art-making; feels good, doesn't it? WC played a big part in getting me back to painting after a couple of decades.

07-13-2006, 06:28 AM
Thank you Wendy -- I do believe I read quite a few of your posts in the liabrary and may ask you a couple follow-up questions at some point. Thank you so much for your kind comment and telling me you were away from it for awhile too.

Nice painting Becky, I really like how you handled the eye and the way the colors stay in a light bright value range, too bad about the scanner -- it would be nice to see all of it -- I don't know much about scanning yet, but can't it be reduced? I think Paul says something about scanning on here (pastel forum) the last couple of days.


Pat Isaac
07-13-2006, 07:48 AM
Wonderful horse, Becky. Sorry about the scanner, but it didn't take away from the beauty of your piece.


07-13-2006, 10:28 AM
Wow, such wonderful paintings all of them! I love horses so am looking forward to this much more than last months landscape. :) I've been feeling out of touch between having my computer on the blink, and being at my dad's in NC last week (where he has no computer). But my summer art classes started last night so I'm rarin' to go again. This one looks like such a fun project.

07-13-2006, 01:09 PM
Belated thank you, Tressa and Barbara! I will try to fix the problem with the neck this week-end. And I think the brown line should not be too hard to blend...

Beautiful work, Angela and Becky! Your interpretations with these nice green shades in the BG are both very pleasing to the eye.

07-13-2006, 04:55 PM
I'm not sure if my post posted or not, so I am trying again... I have painted my rendition of the gorgeous horse Phaedra using Art Spectrum soft pastels on canson paper...however, I have no idea how to post her in here or how to view the other paintings unless of course they are with the actual posts and show up as I read the posts........the few paintings I have seen so far are amazing!!! Any help? thanks, Pequan/Linda

07-14-2006, 01:15 PM
This is a good question pequan. I'm curious to hear the answer myself from some of the more experienced here. I managed to post by clicking on that yellow mountain range-looking icon. But if you use the "quick reply" it doesn't work. I have to click on "Post Reply". Not sure if that's the right way though.

07-14-2006, 01:21 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jul-2006/81946-IMG_0438B.jpg THANK you so very much for helping get this on here.... I hope y'all enjoy it as much as I did painting her... she is a beauty....Pequan

07-14-2006, 01:27 PM
lwood, this isn't an easy site to naigate (for me that is) but with the FANTASTIC help of Kate Green I think I did it....you were lucky you found out how without having to beg for mercy!! LOL

Pat Isaac
07-14-2006, 02:44 PM
Beautiful painting, Pequan. I love all the subtle colors. Glad you were able to post.


Deborah Secor
07-14-2006, 05:06 PM
Here's my very quick version of your Phaedra, Kate! I might be able to pound out a quick landscape but this proves I need more time to do a horse!Had fun though, that's what counts.


I only found an hour to work today but it sure was fun getting my fingers dirty again! I have to say that if I were doing a 'real' painting of her (not a quick exercise) I'd spend more time composing it. I'd also work on some more layering--but time is up!

When do we see your version, Kate??? I mean, c'mon--show me how to do it! You're the horse expert...


Pat Isaac
07-14-2006, 05:31 PM
Hey, Deborah for a quick sketch this is outstanding.:clap:


K Taylor-Green
07-14-2006, 11:34 PM
Deborah!:thumbsup: Very impressive and love your color selections as well.
Don't worry, mine is in the works. Now that most of the soreness is gone from my accident, I can give up the heavy pain killers and paint. Yoo hoo!!

Becky, I have a love/hate relationship with most technology! But your Phaedra looks good, scanner or no. Great colors here.

OK, here's the short explanation for easy uploads. First, you have to have the photo on your hard drive, either by scanner or digital camera. Then you have to resize the image. For this you need a photo imaging program. Your scanner or camera should have one. If you don't like those, there are several free ones to be downloaded off the web. Your image should be no bigger than 600 pixals on the long side. If you aren't totally right, the image uploader will make it perfect. Click on the upload icon, the yellow one with the tiny mountains. Follow the directions and you should be able to upload your photos of your paintings. Iwood is right. For some reason, you can't upload from the Quick Reply.

pequan, I am so very glad my explanation helped you. I worry that I can't explain what I know how to do in a manner that isn't confusing! Your piece was well worth waiting for. Great job on my mare!

Everyone is doing such a wonderful job! I've said it before, but it is amazing how many different versions come from one photo!

07-15-2006, 03:42 PM
John:purple makes her look even more majestic-great job
Piper: she is beautiful-yes I would add some kind of background
Lisa:great rendition
KJSCL:the lights and darks in your painting make her look real!
violet:Great painting-what is the background?Beautiful colors
Sundiver: you don't need any whiny excuses your horse is tres' manifigue!(sp)
Tressa:She is gorgeous!
lwood: I love the softness and your choice of colors
AnnieA: your painting is fabulous-how could you think anyone would laugh?
AngelaF: great "FIRST" everything-looking forward to seeing more
Falsted: wonderful painting-get rid of that hard line on shoulder and I think it will be perfect
Becky:I love your version of Phaedra-I wish I could use more color as you do and be comfortable with it.
Deborah: WOW, WHAT A FIRST SKETCH!! fantastic
I hope I didn't leave anyone out...I am amazed at all the talent in this group..each and every painting is terrific...

07-15-2006, 06:13 PM
thank you pequan ... and yes, everyone did really great renditions of phaedra ... mine i did on brown canson mei-tientes (sp?) ... any variance of colour in the background was due to the photo process

07-16-2006, 03:02 PM
Wow - Everyone's work here is so beautiful and I am glad to see more people joining in each week! Here is mine on Art Spectrum Colourfix - Bue Haze 9 X 12 with assorted soft and hard pastels. Needs some tweaking and I still need help with trees!

07-17-2006, 03:16 PM
I'm getting the biggest kick out of all these splendid versions. I apologize for not responding on all of them but I can't keep up! :) I've learned alot about pastels and the creative colorwork from these exercises by seeing others interpretations.

07-17-2006, 03:30 PM
OMG Mine and Deborah's look like they are from 2 different horse ref pics! So embarassed.... (shrinking away quietly now).

K Taylor-Green
07-17-2006, 05:08 PM
Barbara, don't be silly. There is nothing wrong with your painting that more practice won't fix. The proportions are all right. Maybe more values and bolder colors will do the trick.
You are doing fine.

KA Obee
07-17-2006, 06:50 PM
I think yours looks so sweet! You've given her such a sweet face.
I don't think you have a thing to be embarassed about. You were right originally when you said it just needs some tweaking - like Kate said, some darker values might due the trick. I like the softness of it though, and that could be tricky - maintaining the softness while punching it up a bit. I have no idea how to d that since none of my paintings ever have that subtle softness that yours does. I like it!

07-18-2006, 07:01 AM
Hope its OK to RE-post - I tried to fix her up a bit.

07-18-2006, 08:17 AM
I like it Barbara, and your colors are good.. the softness of the horse goes well with the texture of your trees..next time, you might try adding blues to your trees for your shadows, I find this works very well..an vary your values of greens.. the horse looks very sweet, as Ka says..:wave:

07-18-2006, 09:26 AM
Thank you Tres, KA, and Kate! Phaedra has such a sweet face - I am pleased that I was able to convey that! Thanks again for the challenge Kate!

07-18-2006, 12:14 PM
:wave: Hi, Barbara, Your rendering of Phaedra is very nice. :thumbsup: I also like the softness and you have captured her sweetness. On my monitor, I think the first one has a little "more punch". I like the mouth on the first one better. But both versions capture her and her color is so nicely done.

K Taylor-Green
07-18-2006, 12:23 PM
Boy, does she have you guys fooled!! No, not really, mostly she is very sweet, loves attention, but she can have a real attitude when in her cycle! But that's for the other horses, never toward people.
Everyone has done a super job on my girl. I'm pleased.

07-23-2006, 02:53 AM
I have really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful renditions of the lovely Phaedra. Thought I would give it a try, too. Here it is.

07-23-2006, 11:11 AM
Kate...I have just been reading back over this thread and I realize, to my chagrin, that I neglected to thank you earlier for your compliment to my piece and the kind encouragement you offered. My apologies, and a big Thank You!

07-23-2006, 12:58 PM
rmarlow: your rendition if magificant.......thanks for sharing it.
I have a question for everyone....do any of you know how to "shrink wrap" pastels, or a way to have them in bins at shows.... in other words to show them without framing them. thank you all in advance

07-23-2006, 01:02 PM
WoW! so many talented artists here with so many terrific renderings of Phaedra. I am so impressed and makes me want to throw rocks at my work.

Don't know if my painting is Kosher here but someone said there were no real rules.. I thought every horse needs a cowgirl.....I had to scan this because my camera has gone south so some was cliped off. not quite finished but won't be around rest of the month.

kate, thanks for Phaedra.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jul-2006/54616-Phaedra.jpg


07-23-2006, 07:50 PM
Pequan: Wow! Beautiful job there! Very nice. :clap::clap::clap:

07-23-2006, 07:51 PM
Pequan: Wow! Beautiful painting there! You've captured Phaedra really well. Very nice. :clap::clap::clap:

K Taylor-Green
07-23-2006, 08:26 PM
rmarlow, wow, super job on the mane! As long as I have been painting horses, I have never found the mane easy. Good job, all around.

Bob, that one surprised me! I like it. Too bad you won't get a chance to show us the finish, unless you post it alone, later. I would like to see it.

Pequan, I tried shrink wrapping one, but the static from the plastic caused the pastel particles to cling to the surface and you couldn't see the painting.

07-26-2006, 02:52 PM
WOW! WOW! is all I can say. These horse paintings are just incredible. It's so very interesting to look at the different interpretations. I'm blown away!! They are all so great that I just had to give it a try:


Pat Isaac
07-26-2006, 03:05 PM
More great paintings of Phaedra...As far as shrink wrapping pastels it is a no, no. However, friends of mine who work in soft pastels put them in the plastic bags you can order. They come in all different sizes. This method works fine.


07-26-2006, 10:23 PM
binkie: gorgeous painting, soft and realistic......love that background......

as far as using the plastic bags to put the soft pastels in, I was told they could take the pstels right off the paper....so I guess there is no way to show them other than to frame them

07-26-2006, 11:08 PM
I have my framer matt and shrink wrap all my soft pastel paintings that I'm not immediately framing. Knock on wood but I've never once had any problems. I'd never try doing it myself though. With the shrink wrapping I can safely store them and display in shows. Just yet another opinion :lol:

07-27-2006, 02:39 AM
Kate, I have to apologize. I neglected to thank you for starting this great project with your beautiful Phaedra.


07-27-2006, 05:49 AM
Hello everyone, I am completely new to the Art world and only started using Pastels three weeks ago. I use Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils.
I did a search today to see if I could find any topics on how to draw a horse’s mane, and I found this excellent thread! :clap:
If only I found it a few weeks back.

I am now on my third drawing which happens to be of a Palomino. The reference photo I am using is of a brown horse with a very short mane; however, as palominos are my favourite, I wanted to change the colours to that of a Palomino and give him a long flowing mane.

Although I am reasonably happy with how the horses head turned out, I was having major problems with the mane and I feel like I have given him a ‘cartoon style’ hair do!! (see picture).:eek:

Now that I have seen all these wonderful pictures of Kate’s horse Phaedra, it will help me for the next time I attempt another horse.:thumbsup:

07-27-2006, 06:52 AM
Hi Krispit!! I think your horse is great!! About the mane, the only thing I would suggest is the ends of the hair, make some of them a bit longer, and flow toward the neck. Right now, it looks like she had a nice haircut, as all the strands are all even... The mane itself is lovely though!! Great job, and welcome!!:wave: We have several "horse" experts on here, including Kate, herself, so any questions, I am sure you will get wonderful answers!!

07-27-2006, 11:13 AM
Hi, I too recently did my first horse portrait - in oil pastels - not realising that this challenge existed. VangoghPat mentioned this thread to me, after I posted my painting. I may try a Palomino soon (I normally paint landscapes), but if you are interested in a brownish-coloured horse, my OP is in the Oil Pastel forum under Horse portrait. I've enjoyed reading and looking at the postings here. I should mention to Violet that I too traced the outline of the horse, since it was my first attempt. I think that there is enough challenge in the modelling of the planes of the face and in the details to call it my own, and not to worry about the issue of cheating. Jane

Deborah Secor
07-27-2006, 12:07 PM
as far as using the plastic bags to put the soft pastels in, I was told they could take the pstels right off the paper....so I guess there is no way to show them other than to frame them
I use 'clear bags'--low-static plastic--and I haven't had any real trouble. There's a little bit of fall off, but you can either fix the paintings (if you're so inclined--I don't), or rap them thoroughly before bagging them. We should probly take this discussion elsewhere... :wink2: but for the record, I really like these bags!

You all are too much--that painting I did of Phaedra was fun, but...(dare I mention this?... :eek: ) I ended up wiping it out and using the paper for another painting. I enjoyed doing it, but I'm much more a landscape painter, after all. Hey--at least I like the painting I did on the paper now. I'll show it in the SPS sometime.

Have we seen KATE's version of Phaedra yet...hmmmmmmmmm? Now I bet THAT will be instructive.


07-27-2006, 12:35 PM
Thanks for your help Tres, after your coments and looking at my drawing again, I can see exactly what you mean and I will do as you sugested and that should fix it.

Thank you.

07-27-2006, 06:47 PM
NO! we haven't seen Kates painting yet and there are only 4 more days this month. We all need to nag her about this:D


07-27-2006, 06:52 PM
Come on KATE!!!!:D

EVERYONE DID A GREAT JOB THIS MONTH!!!:clap: :clap: :clap:


Kathryn Wilson
07-27-2006, 07:50 PM
I guess, Kate, that you and I should get on our horses and gallop over to the stable and paint phaedra - :) We do have a few days left. :)

07-27-2006, 09:33 PM
Here is my attempt. 9x12 Strathmore Pastel Paper. Holebein OPs. I haven't done this in a while. So let me know what you think. Sorry about the quality of the pic, I'm still trying to figure out this new camera.

07-27-2006, 09:39 PM
sorry forgot the attachment.

07-27-2006, 09:45 PM
Great job!!:clap:

K Taylor-Green
07-27-2006, 09:51 PM
Not to worry, I should have mine finished in another day. I had to stop working on her to finish a piece for a gallery show. Those are delivered, now. And I can finish my golden girl.

skintones, great Palomino coloring.

Christine, I don't see anything wrong with the mane on your horse. I would have let a few whisps blow around for the romance of it, but that's just me.

Kat, I want to see one from you, too!

K Taylor-Green
07-27-2006, 09:52 PM
Gwen, ooops, missed yours. Good job. Actually, I see a lot of future Equine artists, here!

K Taylor-Green
07-30-2006, 11:11 AM
Bringing up the rear, as usual! Here is my rendition of Phaedra. Jess is very pleased with it, and now wants me to do Goldie! :rolleyes: She is our older Palomino mare.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jul-2006/41107-Phaedra2WC.jpg

Pat Isaac
07-30-2006, 11:35 AM
Beautiful, Kate.


07-30-2006, 12:40 PM

07-30-2006, 01:15 PM
Great job Kate!!


07-30-2006, 01:25 PM
It's exquisite! Your love for Phaedra comes through and makes the portrait glow.


07-30-2006, 01:42 PM
She's beautiful Kate!! :)

Deborah Secor
07-30-2006, 10:32 PM
Love the sculpting you've done with the light! Very nice.


07-31-2006, 11:42 AM
Beautiful :clap: :clap: :clap: rendition, Kate. I admire the draftsmanship and the color.

07-31-2006, 12:03 PM
Very nicely done kate. Good color selection I thought.
Everyone did a nice rendition. Fun stuff.

K Taylor-Green
07-31-2006, 10:47 PM
Thanks to everyone for participating in my challenge! It was fun, and everyone put forth a strong effort!